In the last Step (Twelve) of our recovery program we read the following:
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”
In the Twelve and Twelve, a work which speaks directly to each Step and Tradition of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. And now, these same Steps have been used by millions of people around the world for their recovery from whatever addiction/behavior which might be keeping them from living a life of peace and hope. In the case of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship, we too found that it was in our own personal “spiritual awakening” that brought us more deeply into that life of peace and hope as promised.
But first, let’s read what the author of this work spells out for us, defining for us what a “spiritual awakening” is.
“Maybe there are as many definitions of spiritual awakening as there are people who have had them. But certainly each genuine one has something in common with all the others. And these things which they have in common are not too hard to understand. When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone. He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being. He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or mastered. In a very real sense he has been transformed, because he has laid hold of a source of strength which, in one way or another, he had hitherto denied himself. He finds himself in possession of a degree of honesty, tolerance, unselfishness, peace of mind, and love of which he had thought himself quite incapable. What he has received is a free gift, and yet usually, at least in some small part, he has made himself ready to receive it.”
For each of us I believe this is a good starting point for understanding what the recovery program understands by a “spiritual awakening.”
Tomorrow we will continue our discussion about a “spiritual awakening” and take a deeper look at how Depressed Anonymous and those of us who are part of it, are experiencing this ongoing “spiritual awakening” in our individual lives. And because of this spiritual awakening we have this passion to try and “carry this message” to all those many others who are depressed and looking for help.
RESOURCES: (c) Twelve Steps and Twelve traditions. Alcoholics Anonymous’ World Services. Twenty-Ninth printing. NY. Pages 106-107..
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 104-109;161-163.